'How to Love Your Neighbor' by Sophie Sullivan is a pretty straight-forward grumpy sunshine romance.
Still in interior design school, Grace inheirits a house from the grandparents she never knew. Estranged from her mom, she sees the little beach house as a perfect opportunity to find a way to connect with her familial roots.
Intending to move in and fix it up, her plans become complicated when the hot guy from the dogwalking incident turns out to be her wealthy neighbor. A pushy real estate developer who's used to getting what he wants, this time he wants her property. With the idea anything can be had for the right price and determined to expand his own place.. netting him coverage in a big magazine and the fresh start he craves, she's the only thing standing in his way.
While they're obviously attracted to each other, the two neighbors clash constantly. They have extremely different backgrounds and approaches to life, even if there are hidden commonalities under all that.
As much as Noah comes across sometimes like an all out jerk, very similar things are motivating them both. Despite the fact he can be a bit unaware of those around him, deep down.. he's actually kind of lovely. Not to mention hot and charismatic.
Grace.. herself.. is relatable and down to earth. Her struggles are reasonable, he frustrations are understandable, and ultimately she's a warm person who sort of blossoms around Noah.
The banter between them is great and often feels very realistic. I've had some of the same types of conversations I witnessed between them and I love that genuine, easy dialogue. Since my opinion is that dialogue is the hardest part to write well in any form of media, I applaud Sullivan for getting it so right.
Though I read romance only occasionally, I can't wait to see more work from this author. It's a light, fun read.. that still manages to have substance.